New Civic looks funky inside and out

1 August 2005

New Honda CivicHonda today unveiled the production version of the new Civic. It looks very similar indeed to the concept shown off at the Geneva motor show earlier in the year - including the busy-looking butt that makes do without a rear wiper.
The interior looks as highly stylised as the exterior.
An image on the Honda site reveals the double-deck dashboard of what is presumably the top-spec Civic. It shows a high-mounted numeric speedometer, and beneath that an instrument cluster featuring a large tacho flanked by temperature and fuel gauges, with a small trip-computer and information display in the centre of the tacho. New Civic interiorHowever, the entire lower cluster looks a heck of a lot like a computer-generated image of analogue clocks. There may in fact be a large, trapezoidal LCD screen immediately behind the steering wheel, capable of switching between conventional clocks, navigation information, and perhaps an infra-red night-vision system or reversing camera. The upcoming Mercedes S-Class simulates analogue clocks using a multi-function LCD screen in just this fashion.
Behind the dash, the complement of electronic gizmos is suitably full. As well as ABS with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD), all new Civics will also get Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) - a safety system that controls throttle and brakes to help prevent over-enthusiastic drivers sampling the Civic's performance when travelling backwards through a hedge.
Front seats are fitted with double-action seatbelt pre-tensioners and active head restraints.
Honda UK says the new hatchback will be available with four different powerplants, including a revamped IMA hybrid power unit, even though the European launch press release talks only about 1.4 and 1.8 litre petrol and 2.2 litre diesel powerplants. It looks as though hybrid fans will have to wait for more details...

Update: Newer images of the Civic instrument panel shower that the tacho is, sadly, a conventional analogue dial, but the dashboard design theme would certainly suit a central, multipurpose LCD panel. Perhaps Honda is thinking ahead.
New hybrid Civics are now expected in the UK in May, five months after the conventional variants.

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